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Love/Hate Mail, Aug. 28, 2014

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Where there's spokes, there's ire

As a cyclist I can feel daily disrespect from cars ("Pedal vs. Metal," Aug. 21). They ask cyclists to follow the rules, but it does not seem to apply for car riders. I can't count how many times cars have overtaken me so close I could smell their car air-freshener. They just think the road is theirs not to share and are profoundly annoyed by the presence of cyclists on the road (even though they have a red light less than 50 feet ahead that will make them slow down regardless). I may have an accident (will do my best not to) but will definitely make use of my right to ride on the roads, and maybe, sometime, there's an attitude change ... hopefully. And yeah, all safety measures are just not enough!

Victoria Villalta Gil
Nashville


Cyclists are people too

I'm relatively new to Nashville, and I don't know the history of Sgt. Bob Sheffield, nor have I read his editorial referenced here ("Pedal vs. Metal," Aug. 21). Based on his comments in this article, though, there seems to be a clear and obvious bias tainted negatively toward cyclists. I think those comments shed light on his (and possibly the community's) deep-rooted angst at cyclists on the roads. That needs to change. Cyclists are not inanimate objects, but people with families. It seems simple to say that, but I see drivers forgetting cyclists are living, breathing people -— an observation I make based on their actions while driving.

As for Sheffield's comments on bike lanes, that could warrant another article entirely. Parallel parking on the other side of the bike lane, debris in the bike lane, the seam of the road down the middle of a bike lane, lack of ticketing those who park in a bike lane, etc. — all warrant discussions between cyclists, drivers and city officials. I do see great strides in Nashville roadways and bike paths, especially since my last residence here more than a decade ago, but there is always room for improvement when safety and lives are at stake. As for Molly [Meinbresse], I'm thankful she continues to recover — another powerful testament to wearing a helmet.

Victoria Cumbow
Nashville


Bad lanes, lame laws

I drove over the Shelby/Korean Vets bridge this week ("Pedal vs. Metal," Aug. 21). No sane person can argue there is a valid bike lane until you get farther east. It's maybe 8 inches wide, with plenty of gutters and debris. I can't see how it's even legal the way it's designed. Regardless, studies seem to show that responsible cyclists are safer in traffic than segregated by (unprotected) bike lanes. ... They are sometimes just a way to get bikes to the side and pander to motorists.Cyclists also need better protections/vulnerable user laws in Nashville. Often the police will go after a driver only when the victim is in the hospital or already dead. That is illogical and unacceptable.

Best wishes to Molly.

Ryan Kamper
Nashville


Feet off the gas, onto the sidewalk

We need to take back the streets because our council representatives have sold their interest to land developers ("Taking It to the Street," Aug. 21). They build to vehicular-centered design because it is cheap and subsidized by the energy complex.

If our goal is to push for more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly communities, and local job creation, we have to take back the streets to show how much better it would serve all of us. This is why the Public Works Department has adopted the NACTO Urban Streets Design Initiative just this week.

Tom Cooper
Nashville


Meeting across the river

Thank you for the interesting coverage of the tactical urbanism event in The Nations ("Taking It to the Street," Aug. 21). However, please inform Mr. Kenner that this is not "the first community-driven effort to transform an entire block in Nashville." The McFerrin Park neighborhood transformed the defunct Roxy Theater and surrounding commercial district with live music, streetscaping, pop-up retailers, and food trucks last November. The event was attended by nearly 1,500 visitors and has resulted in increased business activity in the district, the repair of the Roxy roof, and the complete restoration of the 6,000-square-foot 1940s-era Morris Jacobs commercial building.

Dane Forlines
Nashville


Wait 'til next season

Wonderful story, Kay [West] — my memories of summer nights at Greer will be cherished also ("The Bottom of the Ninth," Aug. 21). Although I've not been as much in recent years, when my kids were younger, we went to a lot of games. They always wanted to go when the Famous Chicken was in town. We also had second-row dugout seats one time when Michael Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons. Hopefully, the new Sulphur Dell Stadium will create a whole new set of memories for today's kids.

David Stamps
Crieve Hall


Corrections and clarifications

In our cover story on artist Lonnie Holley ("Public Outsider," Aug. 14), the $150,000 figure cited was the cost of public art for Edmondson Park, not the total cost for the entire park. Also, the park's column fragments are remnants from the Capitol.

In last week's story on the guerrilla urbanist project at Nashville Outlines ("Taking It to the Street," Aug. 21), we referred to last year's PARK(ing) Day as Nashville's first. The event actually started here in 2012, with another planned for Sept. 19.

The Scene regrets the errors and is happy to set the record straight.

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